Aging star LT meets with Cowboys about potential return

Left tackle Tyron Smith has enjoyed what is likely to end up being a Hall-of-Fame career with the Cowboys. The biggest issue in Smith’s game over his 13 years, though, has been his availability, as he’s failed to play in every game in a season since 2015.

Aging star LT meets with Cowboys about potential return

As Smith, 33, gets older, his health continues to be a main concern in his decision-making moving forward. As a pending free agent, Smith met with Dallas today in order to lay out a plan for a potential return in 2024.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, Smith is definitely interested in playing for a 14th year. The team is currently allowing his eight-year, $97.6M contract to expire, leading him towards free agency, but both sides will continue to discuss how a return could happen. Team owner/president/general manager Jerry Jones spoke with the media following today’s meetings, per Jon Machota of The Athletic.

“We’ll get in there in the right way and discuss his business and work out something that’s good for both of us. He’s had a great career. He’s a Hall of Fame player,” Jones said. “I can’t tell you how good of shape I thought we were in with him as we got into the playoffs, his health and where he was. Thought we were just where you want to be. And I give a lot of credit to coach Mike McCarthy, him getting it pushed up there to where we had (Tyron) just right as we went into the playoffs.”

Since 2015, Smith has missed 49 out of a possible 131 regular season games. In two of the last four years, Smith missed 14 (2020) and 13 (2022) games in the regular season. Most of the time, the team is happy for whatever he can provide. Despite not having appeared in more than 13 games over that span, Smith has still earned five Pro Bowl berths and has earned All-Pro honors twice, including this past season.

That being said, the Cowboys are willing to have Smith take regular season rest here and there as he gets older if it means that he will be available for the team’s most important games late in the year. Both sides reportedly felt that they had found a practice plan that has helped keep him healthier, so as long as the numbers are agreeable, it seems like there’s a good chance we’ll see Smith hit 34 years old in the NFL next season.

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